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Questions raised about procedural errors in council’s decision to close Ops arena

in Municipal by
Councillors Kathleen Seymour-Fagan, Andrew Veale, Doug Elmslie and Tracy Richardson voted along with Mayor Andy Letham to close Ops permanently.

Council’s sudden vote in November 2020 to close the Ops Community Centre violated council’s own policies, according to Heather Stauble. The former Kawartha Lakes councillor and former chair of the board of directors of the Kawartha Conservation says a two-thirds vote was required to reverse a previous council decision and close the arena. The vote was 5-4 in favour of the closure, with Mayor Andy Letham casting the deciding vote.

“Council should not have made the decision to close the arena permanently (the way it did),” said Stauble, noting that the move reversed a 2016 council decision. “The most recent decision was done without any notice to the public and without consultation with the Ops community.”

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Words While We Wait: Poetry and verse as public art project

in Municipal/The Arts by

With National Poetry Month approaching this April, Kawartha Lakes is excited to launch a temporary public art project to help build a sense of place and a shared understanding of experiences during these unprecedented times.

“Words While We Wait” is a project all residents can take part in, by submitting poems and verses related to the pandemic for a chance to have their words turned into public art.

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Remembering the last mayor of Lindsay and the first of Kawartha Lakes

in Just in Time/Municipal by
Former Mayor of Lindsay, Art Truax
Former Mayor of Lindsay, Art Truax

Among the favourite wintertime activities enjoyed by any youngster living north of Colborne Street in Lindsay is tobogganing on the hill in Mayor James Flynn Park. So named in honour of the town’s 46th  mayor, it is home to the “Mayor’s Walk” — a circuitous path along which some 50 trees have been planted, one in honour of each mayor who served the Town of Lindsay. The path begins with Robert Lang, who called the first council meeting to order in 1857. It ends with Art Truax.

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City’s 2018 election data shows more young adults need to be engaged

in Municipal by
Do municipal politicians spend too much time talking about property taxes, alienating younger voters?

Kawartha Lakes released a detailed breakdown of the 2018 municipal election as part of a proposal for changes to the 2022 municipal election tentatively approved by council on Jan. 12. The numbers make it clear that voter turnout for municipal elections needs improvement, both in Kawartha Lakes and the rest of Ontario.

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Kitchen says he used the name ‘City of Kawartha Lakes’ to attract investment

in Municipal by
Kitchen says he used the name ‘City of Kawartha Lakes’ to attract investment,

Commissioner Harry Kitchen called the controversy around the renaming of Victoria County “his one regret” with the amalgamation report he issued in 2000.

In a telephone interview with The Advocate Kitchen said,” I wish I had spelled out in the report why I named it what I did. The choice of the new name was not clearly explained. For the sake of a couple of paragraphs the reasoning should have been covered.”

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Second-class property owners? Edgewater condos lose their loose-leaf pick up

in Municipal by

A deputation made to Kawartha Lakes council by C. Brian Lailey, a resident of the Edgewater condominiums in Bobcaygeon, questioned why the complex did not receive leaf pickup for the first time in possibly two decades.

The condominium owner was caught off-guard when on both Nov. 6 and Nov. 20 of 2020 Miller Waste, responsible for the city-wide leaf pick up, did not arrive.

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Road database update delivered to council as city tries to map all its roads

in Municipal by

Kawartha Lakes is responsible for maintaining almost 2,800 kilometers of roads right across the city. Since 2017, city staff has been mapping the road network, trying to create an accurate database of all roads in the area, including those the roads department has no legal responsibility for.

The director of public works responsible for roads, Bryan Robinson, told council that 4,554 road segments have been mapped and included in the database. A segment is from intersection to intersection or where the service or ownership changes.

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Downtown reconstruction: Lindsay accelerates plans given stay-at-home order

in Municipal by
The first section of Kent Street, from William Street to Cambridge Street, has now begun. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Residents can expect to see a further extension of Kent Street being blocked off beginning this week for phase three of the Downtown Lindsay Reconstruction project — well ahead of schedule.

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Councillor wants city to establish PPE production to see return of manufacturing jobs

in Business/Municipal by
Councillor wants city to establish PPE production to see return of manufacturing jobs

If Councillor Ron Ashmore has his way Kawartha Lakes could one day be a manufacturing hub for PPE, therapeutics, and vaccines.

A majority of council, at the committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 12, recommended a written proposal from the Ward Six councillor to investigate attracting medical manufacturers with hopes of reducing the area’s concerning 9 per cent unemployment rate.

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Environmental business heroes named by city

in Municipal by

During the committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 12, the Kawartha Lakes Environmental Advisory Committee presented the 2020 Environmental Business Hero and Environmental Youth Hero Awards.

Each year, the committee awards the title to businesses and students living in Kawartha Lakes who have shown a commitment to improving the wellness of the environment.

This past year saw a variety of nominations and efforts, from more sustainable products, to waste collection, to recycling and education programs. Here are the 2020 heroes:

Environmental Business Hero Awards

*   Boiling Over’s Coffee Vault (Lindsay) is a great example of a small business making many small changes to reduce their environmental impact, including: switching to “sippy” lids to reduce straws, switching to paper straws, biodegradable cutlery, products and packaging, and more. They also donate their surplus food through FoodRescue.ca.
*   Burns Bulk Food (Lindsay) has been a family business for over 35 years and has recently taken additional steps to promote zero-waste, encouraging shoppers to bring their own containers. As an incentive to shoppers who bring their own containers, Burns is providing a 10 per cent discount for everything purchased in one’s own container.
*   Country Cupboard (Fenelon Falls) has gone above and beyond trying to reduce plastics, making sure their products are produced as environmentally friendly as possible and by encouraging other local businesses to do the same. They offer a discount for patrons who use reusable containers, made the switch to compostable spoons and containers and offer sterilized glass jars for use instead of plastic bags. Owner Julia Taylor has also spoken at different events offering environmental ideas and suggestions.
*   Dive Kawartha (Lindsay) has made a massive impact on the Kawartha Lakes community by holding multiple events called Dive Against Debris, where the team dive into local rivers and waterways to remove waste. The last event saw over 700lbs of garbage removed. They also have a fun promotion where if an employee spots you using one of their stainless-steel straws you get a free tank refill.
*   Flex Fitness (Lindsay) is a fitness studio that has become more of a community hub. Owner Cathy Steffler takes extra steps to make sure the environmental footprint of her studio is as small as possible, encouraging people to use refillable containers and providing glassware for her members to use. You won’t find any vending machines filled with plastic bottles, Cathy leads by example and would rather do dishes for her members than create unnecessary waste.
*   La Mantia’s Country Market (Lindsay) has become a model of environmental responsibility thanks to the practices Owner Dave La Mantia has put in place. Before the City’s policy on plastic recycling for businesses had even taken effect last year, La Mantia’s was achieving a 78 per cent waste diversion rate and they’ve kept that momentum going. Vegetable scraps go to local farmers for animal feed or composting, the store avoids unrecyclable waxed cardboard and 144 solar panels are mounted on the roof and sides of the building. All light fixtures are being replaced with LEDs and display cases for dairy products have been upgraded to be more energy-efficient.
*   Unwrapped (Lindsay) was opened in January 2020 after its owners struggled for many years to find more sustainable options for household goods in the Kawartha Lakes. Today, Owners Jenny Connell and Jessica Moynes, sell refillable bulk items like shampoo, conditioner, cleaning products and more to reduce the amount of plastic bottles used in our area. They also offer a variety of eco-friendly alternatives to other disposable items. More importantly, they’re both committed to helping people in Kawartha Lakes make the switch to more sustainable lifestyles and are willing to chat about ways to reduce household waste.

Environmental Youth Hero Award

The Grade 5 and 6 Student Leadership Team at King Albert Public School (Lindsay) embarked on an ambitious project to support Kawartha Lakes’ voluntary ban on plastic shopping bags, by educating their school and the wider community about the impact plastic shopping bags have on the environment.

To facilitate change, the team is also working on a project to design and produce environmentally friendly bags to replace plastic bags, with the partnership of local businesses. The project was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is still very much alive and planned to continue in 2021.

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